People want transparent and professional administration to take care of their needs efficiently and also immediate disposal of their grievances said President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday, as he pointed out that the success of the country’s development programme depends on the quality of public administration.

Delivering the Union Public Service Commission’s 87 Foundation Day lecture, Mr. Mukherjee said governance is crucial for economic development, equity and social participation of various sections of society.

Mr. Mukherjee cautioned against “slow decision-taking” and said: “If we want our country to develop faster, we cannot afford to be slow in taking decisions. I am not saying that decisions have to be taken in haste, but prolonging or avoiding to take decisions are not acceptable. Informed decisions based on facts, figures and realistic assessment to the best of one’s ability are sine qua non for good governance.”

An impartial and apolitical bureaucracy strengthens governance and contributes towards economic development and social transformation, the President pointed out.

Linking good governance to social welfare and inclusive development, he said: “Absence of good governance has been identified as the root cause of many of the deficiencies in society. It robs the citizenry of their social and economic rights. Good governance signifies basic parameters such as rule of law, participatory decision-making structure, transparency, accountability, responsiveness, equity and inclusiveness.”

Transparency and accountability, Mr. Mukherjee said are the two basic elements of good governance. “The Right to Information Act has made the administrative machinery more responsive and efficient in meeting the needs of the masses. There has been a paradigm shift in the developmental approach,” he said, adding: “Corruption is one of the biggest factors that hinder efficient performance of the economy. There is need to eliminate interface in the delivery of services. It is also necessary to adopt non-discretionary approach towards decision-making and initiate two-way communication with the users.”